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Offaly GAA have got a 999-year lease to build their new €1m Centre of Excellence

And the lease will only cost them €1!

Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

OFFALY GAA HOPE that their €1 million Centre of Excellence will be up and running by 2016 after finalising a lease for the new development.

Work is due to begin later this year on the 21-acre site at Ballybracken, which will include four playing fields, dressing rooms, parking and some public amenities.

The Faithful county board have agreed a 999-year lease on the land at a symbolic cost of just €1. The development will be 80% funded by Croke Park with the remainder met by county funds.

“Historically what has happened, and even currently what is happening around the county is that there is no training facilities,” Offaly GAA development officer John Leahy told Midlands FM on Monday.

There’s about 16 teams that are currently connected to Offaly County Board. People mightn’t realise that. They just see the hurling team and the football team at the highest level, but you have development squads and the inter-county teams, and between hurling and football that’s 16 in total.

“There’s always pressure on administration staff in trying to look for fields and we have very regular occasions where players wouldn’t know where they are training from one weekend to the next. It’s only with the goodwill of the clubs that give the facilities.

“Financially, from the county board point of view, it’s a one-stop shop.”

Listen to John Leahy’s interview with Midlands FM in full here >

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Niall Kelly

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